Michael Chugg is the first-ever recipient of the Country Music Association’s Rob Potts International Live Music Advancement Award.

Chugg was the sole Australian shortlisted for the new award, which recognises an individual’s significant contributions to the live music industry by helping to build audiences for country music outside the United States.

Chuggi was presented with the award Thursday, one of four CMA International Awards.

The Sydney-based, Tasmania-born chairman of Chugg Entertainment and Chugg Music faced off against Sina Hall (Germany – Semmel Concerts Entertainment GmbH); Nigel Hassler (U.K. – CAA); Sigve Prestnes (Norway – Stageway Talent); and Troy Vollhoffer (Canada – Premier Global Production, Country Thunder Music Festivals and Big Valley Jamboree) for the prize.

Fittingly, it was Potts’ good friend Chugg who won the honor, which is contested by promoters, booking agents, talent buyers, festival/venue bookers and other live music industry professionals.

Natalie Waller, Head of ABC Music and Events (L), Susan Heymann, Chief Operating Officer of Frontier Touring (R-C) and Jeremy Dylan, CEO of Rob Potts Entertainment (R) present Michael Chugg (L-C) with the Rob Potts International Live Music Advancement Award.
Photo Credit: Mia Maclean

Potts’ career spanned more than 30 years, opening doors for Australian country artists including Tommy Emmanuel, Morgan Evans, Lee Kernaghan, Troy Cassar-Daley and Keith Urban.

A promoter, manager, label chief and country music authority, died following a motorcycle accident on the west coast of Tasmania in October 2017. He was 65.

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Other CMA winners were Baylen Leonard (International Broadcaster Award), Ricky Marshall (Wesley Rose International Media Achievement Award) and The Shires (Jeff Walker Global Country Artist Award).

“The CMA International Awards honor some of the many individuals that we are proud to know and work with in our international country community,” comment Milly Olykan, CMA Vice President, International Relations and Development.

“As country music continues to develop and expand its audiences around the world, we could not do what we do without the work and resources these individuals put in to build and promote country music in their market. We are grateful for their continued support and thrilled to honor them with these awards.”

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